Hong Kong’s CA wants to let cellcos use 5 GHz band for LAA

hong kong wi-fi 5 GHz
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Hong Kong’s Communications Authority has launched a public consultation on its proposed plan to allow mobile operators to use the unlicensed 5 GHz shared band for Licensed Assisted Access (LAA).

According to a statement from the independent regulator, there is currently 580 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band that is used on a shared basis for public Wi-Fi services, as well as for private use by license-exempted devices. New mobile technologies like LAA using unlicensed bands would give LTE operators access to a significant chunk of spectrum in addition to the 552 MHz worth of licensed mobile spectrum they already have – which the CA says lead to an enhancement in service quality for mobile service users.

The CA is proposing to make available all 580 MHz of the 5 GHz shared band for the provision of public mobile services, for which it will also create an associated regulatory and licensing regime, as well as amend the Hong Kong Table of Frequency Allocations.

Members of the industry and the public are invited to give views and comments on the proposals on or before 1 March 2018.

The consultation paper can be downloaded here [PDF].

In related news, the CA also published its new spectrum release plan (“SRP”) for 2018 – 2020 [PDF], under which 200 MHz of spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands will be reassigned this year. The SRP also reaffirms that cellcos will have to wait until at least 2019 for 5G spectrum. The 24-28 GHz bands will be allocated sometime in 2019, while the 3.4-3.6 GHz band will be made available in early 2020.

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